Premier League • England

Saul Niguez insists Chelsea spell was ‘good experience’ in explanation of how it will help his Atletico return

Saul Niguez playing for Atletico Madrid

Saul Niguez does not reflect on his failed Chelsea spell as a bad experience, explaining why he remains grateful to the Premier League club.

Chelsea signed Saul on a season-long loan deal for the 2021-22 campaign. It soon became clear that he was not exactly a major part of Thomas Tuchel’s plans. As a result, he only started five matches in the Premier League.

In total, Saul’s Chelsea spell brought him 23 appearances, from which he registered just one goal. Naturally, the Blues declined a permanent deal for the Spaniard.

He is now back with Atletico Madrid, where he remains under contract until 2026. Their pre-season schedule will begin on Sunday and he will be a part of it.

Speaking to his club’s website ahead of his reintegration, Saul has explained why he actually improved during the past year with Chelsea.

“Despite the fact that I have not had the desired minutes I think it has been a good experience for me to leave at a time when mentally I was not feeling well.

“I have been able to reset, learn about a new culture, lead a new life, meet a new club, new fans.

“I can only be grateful to all the people at Chelsea for their trust and to my teammates for making the year so easy for me and helping me and to Atleti for making it easier.

“I think this season has helped me to improve in many aspects. I have learned a lot and that will be good for this new season.”

Saul already has 340 Atletico appearances to his name, so will be hoping to make further progress back in the Spanish capital.

Saul Niguez ready to persevere for place

Chelsea loanee Saul Niguez

Although vowing to remain humble, he insists he can help the team with what he has experienced at Stamford Bridge.

He added: “On an individual level I only hope to give my best. I know that I come from a loan period in which I haven’t had many minutes and that I have to work hard, persevere and make a lot of sacrifice to get a place in the team, something that is very expensive because there is a very high level of competition. We have an enormously competitive team.

“I come with a lot of humility, thinking about working and helping the team in whatever way I can and from wherever I can.

“I really want to show that, despite having had a complicated year, it has been very good for me to improve and grow in many aspects, both sporting and personal.

“And as a group I hope that we continue as always, being a team that fights every game till the end, that doesn’t give up, competes in all the tournaments and that we can give our fans a lot of joy.”

Atletico finished third in La Liga without Saul last season, which is the same place Chelsea came in the Premier League.

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